2014-08-08 / Editorial/Opinion

To Move Forward, A First Step Is Needed

The Wave has made a serious push over the last few months to improve its engagement efforts on our social media platforms.

By being accessible to our readership, we feel it’s a direct way to hear from local residents, community activists and business owners to learn what important issues matter the most. Boy, have we heard a lot!

One of the more interesting things we have learned over those weeks is how Rockaway gets little to zero cooperation from New York City because “(Rockaway) has been anti-city government and anti-mayor for the last 15 years.” So, straight up, this reader wrote, New York City just doesn’t like us.

If that is the reason for the lack of services and funds and, well, being lied to, it sounds like it could be a bigger scandal than Bridgegate is for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. But it really doesn’t have to be a conspiracy theory, does it?

Perhaps it is a lack of understanding of what Rockaway really needs? Well, let’s go back to Nov. 4, 2012, just a few days after Sandy. Then-public advocate Bill de Blasio visited the peninsula with then-mayor Bloomberg.

“We have never seen anything like this in our lives,” de Blasio said that day. “It’s a kind of destruction you think happens in other parts of the world but not here. This is definitely one of the hardest hit areas in the whole city. It’s like civilization has come undone.”

Civilization has come undone. The man who would be mayor said these words, not us.

Yet, in 2014, when it came time for the city to find a place to put a homeless shelter -- and having the temerity to actually use “everyone must do their part” as its mantra, Rockaway is where the city stuck it.

Then, back in July, this new mayor announced his intentions to invest heavily into the revitalization of downtown Brooklyn. Now, we don’t blame the mayor for wanting to help steer his hometown borough a little love. That’s human nature. But just about a decade ago, Bloomberg spent about $400 million on that area. Shouldn’t they get to the back of the line?

Well, to be a little fair, de Blasio did attend the Faith in New York summit at the Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral in Jamaica on July 30 to discuss the progress and priorities of Hurricane Sandy rebuilding.

The meeting was focused on how people in Far Rockaway are still suffering from Sandy, citing leaking roofs, mold, no heat and no jobs as a result of the storm.

So, those Sandy-suffering families were asked to travel all the way to Jamaica to discuss Rockaway, in an area barely touched by Sandy.

You can’t even make this stuff up.

So, except for a photo-op in March, where he promised to accelerate the distribution of Build it Back checks, the mayor hasn’t spent a minute in the place where civilization came undone.

Maybe those social media folks are right, maybe it is all our fault “Amoral Compass” Rockaway is ignored by the city.

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